SGA to decide on possible fee raise

By: Cody Boteler, Senior Editor

The Student Government Association will vote on whether or not to raise the annual SGA fee Nov. 17.
If approved, the annual fee for full-time undergraduate students will rise to $90 for fiscal year 2017 from the current $84.

According to a report SGA President Kurt Anderson put together, there are a number of reasons that it is important to raise the fee and pull in an approximated $100,000 in additional fees.

According to Anderson, the additional funding is needed so that future SGA administrations can meet commitments that have already been made.

The report says $12,000 of the additional funding would cover the SaferMobility app, $3,000 would cover an increase to the CollegeTown Shuttle, $10,000 would go toward “information system licenses,” $2,000 would go toward an executive budget increase and $18,000 would go to salary increases for SGA employees to keep up with minimum wage.

The largest chunk of the funds would go to increases in student organization funding. The report says that in Fall 2015, 48 groups requested “budgets that were honored.” For Spring 2016, that number increased to 76.

“That money has to come from somewhere,” Anderson said during an open session discussing the fee increase. “Money doesn’t come from trees. We have a budget.”

Anderson stressed that additional money for student groups was so that more groups could get funding, not so that groups that currently have a budget could get more.

SGA Senator Korey Johnson said that she’d want to see some of the higher up, paid SGA positions receive compensation that is closer to the minimum wage instead of seeing students pay a higher fee.

During the meeting, Anderson said that he didn’t object to that idea, but that it would be separate process that would have to go through university administration.

According to the report, the information system licenses will work to “create a system that tracks interactions and engagement, so that the SGA and other campus departments would be able to grow and commit resources to programs that are contributing to student success. A fully integrated system will help gather data to build a 360 view of each and every student.”

The SGA would be liable for licensing fees, the report said.

SGA meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend. The meeting to address the possible fee increase will take place at 5 p.m. on Nov. 17 in the Loch Raven Room of the University Union.

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